my EFC is ZERO

<p>yes, zero. my poor old dad, he's nearly 60 and works 2 jobs/12 hour days and still cant make ends meet. i was accepted as a transfer student (spring 2005) to USC and have every intention of going. i was at uc irvine for the past two years and i can no longer stand california's public education system that finds a way to screw from every angle. besides, it seemed like the only feasable option. i recieved no aid from uci, mostly because my dad couldnt fork over his 2003 corperate tax returns in time(he doesnt have to turn them until november instead of april). debt has consumed most assets, except maybe for our house which we may be forced to sell. mom is dying of MS.</p>

<p>i worked all of my first year and took out 10k in loans for yr 2. while my financial aid package hasnt been prepared yet by USC for this coming spring term, i cant help expecting the worst.</p>

<p>additional debt is no longer an option. my GPA is marginal (3.3). i am a pakistani-american male. 20 yrs old. i am considering ROTC and other avenues for financial aid. </p>

<p>besides scholarships, what other options may i be able to consider?</p>

<p>what may be good places to search for aid/scholarships, particular to my situation?</p>

<p>by the way, i have every intention to attend grad school, thats why i detest taking on more debt as an undergrad.</p>

<p>-thank you</p>

<p>oh ya almost forgot. both Fafsa and CSS profile were completed in a timley fashion (last march). i want to clarify that USC has not completed my fin aid packet because they are requesting more and more documentation. and also this for spring 05, not fall 04.</p>

<p>oh ya, cal grant gave me nothing, saying that my "fafsa score" is "too low". what the hell? my dad had a negative income last fiscal yr. damn the governator. somebody please terminate his austro-hungarian @$$.</p>

<p>MrTrojanMan, I want to let you know that I fully sympathise with your frustration with the financial aid system. You are not alone in this regard. I have worked with kids and families on the financial aid forms for years, and I want you to know that you and your dad MUST get all forms in very quickly to have the optimum chance for money. If you don't have the forms done yet, send in an estimated set and send in the actual when you actually file them as revised. If ANYTHING is outstanding, you will just be put at the bottom of the stack as there are plenty of people who have managed to dot every i and cross every t and get their materials in on time.</p>

<p>I recommend you look at ROTC and other venues for aid. You may hate the California state sytem of higher education, but you are now in big time tuition land. USC is not known to be generous to its transfer students, and I am afraid you are in for a reality check. Many kids I know who go there as freshmen end up with packages in future years that are loan heavy. And we are not talking a few thousand in tuition at USC--but 10 times what the UC schools charge. With your stats and profile as you have given us a glimpse, it is highly unlikely that you will get much in merit awards, and in my experience kid who matriculate in spring do not get as much as those who come in the fall. Throw in your transfer status and, well, unless you have some great hook, it is going to be tough to get the amount of money to pay USC--$40k+ (unless you are commuting) without some heavy duty loans. So I would not kick the door shut too fast on UCI.</p>

<p>thanks for the post.</p>

<p>i think i need to clarify again, fafsa and css profile were done last school yr. in march i think, in timely fashion. by then i wasnt accepted. i was accepted in mid-august. thats when usc wanted 2003 1040 forms, which were not complete b/c my dad is a self proprieter. usc said, "thats fine, just send in your tax filing extension form and we will give you an additional month." month goes by, and i turn in the 1040. a week goes by. usc says they need more forms, 3 more ot be exact. i downlaod the forms from their website , fill em out, and turn them in. a week goes by. now usc wnats coorperate tax forms and the value of my parents real estate. this takes a while b/c the 2003 coorperate tax forms arent complete, and my pops ddoesnt really have much time on his hands. a couple weeks go by. i turn in the forms. a week goes by. now usc wants 2002 1040 forms and a tax filing verification. i turn in 2002 1040 and ask what the hell is a tax filing verification. they say i need to call IRS and ask for a form 1720. IRS says it doesnt exist, but they will send a tax filing verification to us. a couple weeks later and it finally gets here. just turned it in like yesterday. why would they ask for so much when i probably wont get anything?</p>

<p>ive checked out this site called "Fastweb" for scholarships and its really helpfull. does anybody know of any other scholarship websites?</p>

<p>bump. anybody?</p>

<p>The college is asking for more and more documentation because they are unable to verify the figures that you put on your FAFSA and CSS Profile. Evidently, the tax return that they asked for in mid-August (and you provided them in mid-September) made them feel even less likely to be able to verify your FAFSA and CSS numbers. That's why they asked for further documentation.</p>

<p>Having a tax filing date of November, puts you out of synch with the FinAid office which is geared up to deal with April 15th filings.</p>

<p>I believe that at some point the college will modify your FAFSA (based upon whatever they can verify) and your aid package will be based upon that modified FAFSA.</p>


<p>In an ideal situation, a financial aid applicant files a tax return first, and then the CSS Profile and FAFSA---based on that filed return.</p>

<p>thought it may have been something complex like that. but they said filing in novemebr was ok, they seemed faniliar with that.</p>

<p>and why didnt they just reject my finaid all together? why not just get it over with and give me nothing, and say, 'sorry you were too late there's nothing we can do" instead of dragging it out? its killing me. it would actually make my situation easier b/c then i would know exactly how much i would need to front.</p>

<p>usc seems to have a knack for dragging things out.</p>

<p>The FinAid office is not out to get you. It is their responsibility to verify the numbers you provided in your FAFSA and Profile so that they can see that you get all the aid dictated by that school's policies. Some family's financial situations are easier to verify; some are more difficult.</p>

<p>Slapping the Terminator won't speed up the process... he might hit back... and that would hurt!</p>

<p>The good news is that they are working on your application and are trying to come up with some sort of a package for you. But as I stated in my earlier post, the gap between what the government is going to pay and what the college is going to have to pull out of its coffers is enormous at a school like USC because of the very steep tuition there. Many times it is covered by loan offers. Hopefully you will get a package that you can consider.</p>